The backless flesh-colored Jean Louis dress is estimated to fetch 3 million dollars at Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles.
The actress was also admired for her incredible sense of style (she made bikini famous) , this included a dress, perhaps one most iconic pieces in history, she wore the dress on stage at the democratic fund raiser at Madison Square Garden, New York attended by 15,000 guests where she sang her sultry version of “Happy Birthday” for President John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962. The dress was a backless flesh-colored dress dripping with rhinestones in a rosette motif made by Jean Louis, the fit was so tight that she wore nothing underneath and had to be sewn in.
The late singer had all eyes on her in the sheer, flesh-colored dress hand-stitched with more than 2,500 crystals during the landmark performance for John F Kennedy. The actress, who died aged 36 less than three months later, is said to have requested a 'historic' dress from designer Jean Louis (And a historic dress she got!). Although her performance was only around 30 seconds long, more than 50 years later it is still one of the most famous ever of modern popular culture.
Monroe passed away less than three months later, and she left her belongings to Lee Strasberg. In 1999, the dress was part of an auction of Monroe’s possessions at Christie’s International, where it fetched a record 1.2 million dollars, it was the most ever paid for a single item of personal clothing. Now the iconic dress which has gotten interest from all over the world is not jut a fashion piece but as a work of art. It will be auctioned off for the second time at Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles.
Martin Nolan, the auction house's executive director, said at a 'conservative estimate' they expect the dress to fetch two to three million dollars and that it is part of a three-day sale of more than 800 items that belonged to the star including jewelry, handbags, shoes, a watch, her paintings and lipstick.
Before it is sold the dress, which is set to be auctioned on November 17 at Julien's Auctions Los Angeles, will first go on tour. From September 25 to October 22 it will be displayed at MANA Contemporary in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Then it will be taken to Europe where it will be on view to the public at the Museum of Style Icons in Newbridge, Ireland, from October 29 to November 6.It will then return to the US where it will go on display in Los Angeles.
The dress will be presented on the custom-made mannequin that was created to exactly match Marilyn's measurements.